Deciding to switch to solar energy for home consumption is exciting news and deserves a celebration! We know this decision took some consideration, but it will be worth it. However, you need to ask yourselves some important questions to know which specifications to opt for. ‘How much solar power do I need to run a refrigerator?’ appears in several FAQs, so we decided to help you answer this question.
The key to getting a solar power system that properly encompasses your energy needs is first knowing about your energy consumption, including that from all electrical objects used at home. However, we’ll cover energy consumption from refrigerators for this post.
Guide to Knowing Your Refrigerator’s Power Needs
To know how much solar power you need to run your refrigerator, you’ll need to make some basic calculations. We have prepared this short guide to help you understand this step.
Calculate Your Refrigerator’s Hourly Power Consumption
Firstly, you’ll need to calculate your refrigerator’s hourly power consumption in watts, since that is the unit of output. You can easily get this number by multiplying Amp and Volts. For example:
7A x 110V = 770 Watts
Since your refrigerator needs 1.5 times the regular running output to start, multiply the initial figure you received by 1.5 to get the maximum wattage your refrigerator will need at any given point. In the case of our example, 1.5 times 770 Watts would be 1,155 Watts.
How Many Hours a Day Does it Run?
The next thing you need to know is the total wattage your refrigerator will need for the number of hours it operates in a single day. Since refrigerators run 24/7, you’ll multiply the first figure you got (770 watts in our example) by 24. In our example, that will be 770 Watts x 24 = 18,480 Watts per day.
This will give you the average daily consumption of your refrigerator per day.
Are There any Seasonal Differences in Your Consumption?
Finally, are there any seasonal variations in your consumption? Do you turn your refrigerator off for some time during the summer holidays (because you’re vacationing or during winters? If you do, you’ll need to subtract that amount from the number you get for your annual consumption.
Otherwise, you can multiply your daily consumption by 365 to get your annual consumption. You now know how much solar power you need to run a refrigerator.
The Basic Solar Power System Support
Knowing how much solar power you only need gives you half of the answer you need. The next step is knowing which elements of a solar power system you need to install to power your refrigerator on solar energy for the entire day.
1. Solar Panels
First, you’ll need to know how many solar panels you need to install. Since you’re setting up the solar power system for your home, you’ll need to make the same calculation you did for all your electronic devices and appliances.
Finding Total Electrical Energy Consumption
Find their hourly wattage and multiply each with the number of hours it remains functional. Add all the individual numbers you get together and multiply by 365. Remember to include seasonal variations to help you get an accurate figure.
Divide this number by 12 to get your average monthly consumption.
Determining Wattage and Number of Solar Panels
Knowing your monthly consumption will help you determine how many solar panels you need. Standard output for solar panels ranges from 230 watts – 275 watts, and you can install multiple panels to cover your consumption needs.
An important detail you need to remember is that your solar panels will convert the solar energy they absorb into direct current or DC. Since most households run on alternate current (AC), you’ll need an Inverter to convert the current for you.
Usually, inverters are installed in a covered area, the wires from solar panels coming together and connecting inside. The inverter converts all the DC to Ac and sends it out as output to the house’s electrical supply.
Lastly, when asking ‘how much solar power do I need to run a refrigerator,’ you also need to think about nighttime. You need a mechanism that can help you store the excess energy from the day for use at night when there is no sunlight.
Getting batteries set up alongside your inverter will help you power your house and store all excess power inside them. You’ll, then, be able to continue operating your electrical appliance, including your refrigerator, even when the sun has gone down.
Please keep in mind that the amount of extra energy you produce and store depends on three things:
- The amount of sunlight you receive during the day
- The number of solar panels
- Battery size
If you don’t get enough sun or do not have enough panels installed, your system won’t be able to absorb enough energy to store for the night. Conversely, if you have too few batteries, you’ll not be able to store enough excess energy to last you through the night.
If you’re looking to power only your refrigerator, you can skip out on the inverter and the batteries and get a solar generator. Solar generators are connected directly to the solar panels and will help charge appliances.
Some solar generator options include storage, so you can make them the complete energy-providing solution for your refrigerator.
You need to ensure you get a solar generator keeping in mind the start-up wattage (1,155 watts from our example) instead of the running wattage.
Our Final Thoughts
We hope reading through the article was enjoyable and gave you the answer to ‘How much solar power do I need to run a refrigerator?’ Make sure you have the correct numbers for energy consumption, solar panels, and batteries, and you should be all set!